Steyr Automotive Masters Flexible Job Production Planning with APS Solution

Status: A Trusted Partner for Contract Production and Subcontracting with Renowned OEMs

Following the acquisition by investor Siegfried Wolf in 2021, Steyr Automotive GmbH has emerged as a highly successful contract manufacturer, serving renowned clients such as MAN, VOLTA, and Palfinger Forklifts. Additionally, Steyr plays a crucial role as a reliable supplier to various other OEMs. Their expertise extends across a diverse array of offerings, including special vehicles, special bodies, special cabs, and essential parts for truck production. Notably, the company operates one of Europe's largest and most advanced painting facilities, catering to truck plastic attachments, ensuring impeccable quality and unparalleled service for their valued customers.

With an extensive range of products and services, Steyr has rightfully earned its reputation as the preferred choice for OEMs seeking high-quality and customized solutions. As a trusted partner, the experienced experts are committed to delivering excellence and meeting the unique requirements of their customers in the most efficient and reliable manner.

Challenge: New IT Landscape Needed to be Set up Due to Spin-off

After the spin-off from MAN, Steyr Automotive GmbH faced the challenge of redefining and setting up its IT landscape. Flexible production planning was a critical requirement for the company. Steyr needed a software solution that is able to efficiently handle the complexity of their diverse production lines. To address this challenge, the company sought the expertise of the experienced specialists at flexis AG. Working closely with the Steyr managers, they quickly developed and defined the required processes for effective planning, control, and optimization of the various production lines.

Solution: Implementation of Flexis APS Solution for Efficient Planning

The solution came in the form of the flexis APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) software, a standardized, cloud-based application that leverages existing modules for order slotting, order scheduling, and order sequencing. The software seamlessly integrates with the ERP and MES systems, obtaining order data from a data hub, and then creates an optimized production schedule.

The implementation process involved three key steps:

  1. Scheduling and Optimal Grouping of Orders: The flexis APS software intelligently assigns orders based on their deadlines and efficiently slots them to the correct production line lay-up point. The order book gradually fills up, while weekly packages are smoothed to days.

  2. Slotting: In this classic "manual" planning process, the planner fixes the day's packages as soon as they are complete. This ensures that the orders are optimally organized and ready for further processing.

  3. Sequencing: The software creates daily packages of orders in the correct sequence, taking into account sequence derivations and interdependencies, leading to a smooth flow and optimized production line.

The implementation process was efficient and smooth, allowing the customer to configure various restrictions that were taken into account in the optimization algorithms.

Result: Agile and Solution-Oriented Action Quickly Leads to Success

Thanks to the modern cloud-based flexis APS solution, Steyr Automotive achieved an efficient and innovative software solution for automated optimization of planning and sequencing processes. Within a remarkably short span of less than six months, all requirements were successfully implemented, from process consulting to proof of concept up to full-fledged implementation.

Since the go-live in August, Steyr Automotive has been successfully operating the flexis APS system in practice. The precise and advanced functionality of the software is already having a positive impact on production processes. The newfound flexibility has provided Steyr Automotive with strategically valuable competitive advantages, ensuring they continue to excel as a contract manufacturer and supplier for leading OEMs. With the ability to master flexible job production planning, Steyr Automotive is now better equipped to meet customer demands, optimize resource utilization, and deliver high-quality, customized solutions efficiently.

Sabine Madlmayr, Steyr Automotive:
“Thanks to the cooperation with flexis AG, we have found a partner that has comprehensive process know-how and offers professional services through proven, standardized software for production scheduling as well as agile and flexible project management. We are pleased that we were able to develop a completely new IT infrastructure in a very short time and go live after just under six months. This enables us to optimally schedule our orders into production according to available capacities.”

Andreas Ehrenfeuchter, flexis AG:
“The specific challenge - in addition to the time frame of the project - was to design an order processing process that is both variable and optimized to meet the requirements of a highly flexible order manufacturer like STA, and that can be adapted to structural changes by only a few interventions and configurations so that STA can adapt to new customer and production constellations at any time. Our standardized solution modules are ideally suited for this and so this setting was implemented within a very short time and with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.”